Masks for Sale
Checkout the masks we have for sale
Tibet 10 inches, wood, paint During festivals, such as that held in the Autumn harvest period, masked dances were held in monasteries throughout Tibet. Somehow this mask ended up in a shop in nearby Nepal. Years ago Nepal required a red wax stamp on wood carvings being exported, which you can see on the back of this one.
Dieng Plateau, Central Java 8 inches, wood, paint, nail polish Masks like this often turn up in poor rural areas, especially the Dieng Plateau. It has been repainted several times. The last time the bright colored drawing and the white teeth were quickly added using nail polish or something similar. Could have been inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Costa Rica, Central America 14 inches, wood, paint The Boruca Indians once a year hold their shamanic ceremony that is called Danza de los Diablitos. Over the years they gradually became famous for the colorfulness and complexity of their carved Diablo masks. Nowadays they make their living creating especially elaborate ones for sale to tourists and collectors.
Yoruba people, Nigeria 16.2 inches, painted wood It’s a big helmet mask made to be worn at a slight angle, with the dancer seeing through the mouth. Red and black painting with unusually large white teeth. This Egungun mask is obviously from a Yoruba area, possibly Owo or Akoko. Shows wear from use and age, including a repair at rear edge and white touch up to the eyes and teeth.
Binche, Belgium 9 inches, wax impregnated cloth The amazing masked carnival of Binche in Belgium involves most of the male inhabitants of the town spending the day marching through its streets in famous Gilles outfits. For the early morning march, the men all wear identical waxy masks creating a strangely spooky effect. This has been going on for many years, but you hardly ever see a mask for sale because the participants are sworn to keep and protect them.
Sepik River Area, Papua New Guinea 22 in, wood, ratan, natural pigments, feathers, shells Carved on the back of this mask are the words "New Guinea, 1944." It may originally have been collected by a WWII vet. What I'm sure of is the high quality of the craftsmanship. Look at how beautifully the decorative lines are applied, and the other additions are equally well done. Sepik River art doesn't get more handsome than this. Excellent condition.
15 inches, painted wood, cloth, string, articulated ears Though it looks like a large puppet from Mali, this is actually a mask from the Ouedah region of Benin (formerly called Dahomey). The ears are hinged with cloth and can be wiggled by pulling a string. Each ear is now fixed in place with a single screw for display purposes and can easily be removed. The Fon are well known for their decorative objects of metal made for the court.
State of Veracruz, Mexico 7.7 inches, carved wood with paint This mask demonstrates typical features of Moor masks from Veracruz-- pink face and dramatic painted sideburns, etc. The exaggerated stub nose and small chin, plus the rounded off corners at the upper back, seem like the work of a particular carver whose uniquely styled masks are found in the region of Carpinteros, but I have not yet discovered his name. Used.
Nootka people, W Vancouver Island, Canada 10 1/2 inches, old-growth red cedar, copper Carved by Ernie Chester and described as a Nootka Transformation Mask, however, it is actually a canoe mask. Year unknown. The lower lip has been broken off and professionally repaired. This is a style of mask that is meant to be viewed from either side.
North India 15.5 in, papier mache Ganesh, the popular elephant-headed god, is (on this mask) equipped with a mouth that moves up and down. How could you not like this deity who removes all obstacles through bestowing wisdom. Condition is good-- though I can't figure out how to make the mouth work. It was formerly part of a collection of Ms Sharon Lowen, the well-known performer, scholar and writer of Indian traditional dance.
Gelede is a cult in Benin and Western Nigeria concerned with the appeasement of witches. The masquerades are in honor of mother--whose power is especially manifest in elderly women, female ancestors, and the female Orisha. The Yoruba people are prolific artists and Gelede masks can take a variety of forms. The masks are based on the human face, but may be surmounted by elaborate coiffures or carvings. Small and with no eye holes. Lots of paint loss, but it's not flaking off anymore.
Bamana people, Mali This wildly carved headpiece was part of a masquerade that is centered in the region around the city of Segou. Showing the combined imagery of a large bird with extended beak and a Bamana or Fulani woman, it is performed today by the young men. Dance troops of local youth groups sing, dance, drum, manipulate puppets or dance masks in a performance called the Sogo Ba.